Virtual Happy Holidays

by Voxel Worlds

Posted on January 5, 2017 at 12:00 PM

virtual reality hollidays

The year 2017 was the year when virtual reality finally went mainstream, and that's mostly because most people now have a VR headset.

So many people woke up Monday on Christmas morning to discover a VR headset under the tree. Every major system that people have been waiting for was finally on the market. This holiday season was an exciting time for those fascinated by virtual reality who wanted to put a VR rig under the Christmas tree (or in the stocking) for their friends and family members. They could finally share their excitement about the VR immersive world with their loved ones.

Virtual reality might be the big technology sweeping the world currently but that doesn't mean it has to be expensive. There were a plethora of choices at every price point, and no matter which device people could afford, their lucky gift recipient got a view of what VR can be, albeit at very different levels of quality. People spent anywhere from $15 to well over $1,000. Whether it's a full Oculus Touch-enabled system or a much lesser device, the joyous moments that VR users shared this Christmas were priceless.

There are essentially four different levels on the VR hardware spectrum, and the prices rise sharply the further up you go. Depending on the price point of the gift, some people got cheaper, less immersive versions of smartphone-dependent VR headsets like the Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream View and a wide array of low-end headsets that were being sold at Walmart for under $50.

For just $15, s very simple gift and an experience that is about as basic as VR gets, made many recipients happy and some of them discovered how the VR world feels like for the first time. It was the Google Cardboard that is a basic VR headset that works with nearly any smartphone (including iPhone). These new entrants can now enjoy the 360-degree videos that place them in the center and allow them to look in every direction. There are countless offerings available for YouTube 360 or Facebook 360. Watching the 2018 New Year celebrations around the world was a completely different experience for them this year.

Other people got the more sophisticated full immersive version of VR gadgets such as the PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive.

Sony’s PlayStation VR (PSVR) can be classified in the middle of the VR spectrum. It costs $399 and works with the PlayStation 4 (PS4). It’s one of the most game-centric VR systems on the market. It was the best gift that gamers could get this holiday season.

Virtual Happy Holidays

At the priciest end of the spectrum, two systems stand alone: the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. Getting one of these two VR gadgets was the missing goal of 2017 that was finally achieved on Christmas Day or even during the last hours of 2017 as they received it as gift for the New Year Eve.